On the Pure in Heart."One [alone] is Good, whose free utterance is His manifestation through his Son; it is by Him alone that the heart can become pure, [and that too only] when every evil essence has been expelled out of it. Now its purity is prevented by the many essences which take up their abode in it, for each of them accomplishes its own deeds, outraging it in
divers fashions with unseemly lusts. As far as I can see, the heart seems to receive somewhat the same treatment as an inn [or caravanserai], which has holes and gaps made in its walls, and is frequently filled with dung, men living filthily in it and taking no care of the place as being someone else's property. Thus it is with the heart so long as it has no care taken of it, ever unclean and the abode of many dæmons [elemental essences]. But when the Alone Good Father path regard unto it, it is sanctified and shineth with light; and he who possesseth such a heart, is so blessed that 'he shall see God.'"
Here we have the very same doctrine as that enunciated by Basilides and Isidorus with regard to the "appendages" of the soul, as indeed is pointed out by Clement. The doctrine was an exceedingly ancient one in Egypt. In the so-called Book of the Dead we read, that the "heart" is a distinct personality within the man (the "purusha [or man] in the æther of the heart" of the Upanishads); and not only this, but the formula referred to and its explanatory texts teach us that "it is not the heart that sins but only its fleshly envelope." (Cf. Wiedemann's Relig. of the Ancient Egyptians, p. 287; 1897.) Isidorus, as we have already seen, guarded against making the "appendages" the scapegoat, and fixed the responsibility on the "heart" proper, the "ancestral heart"--"guardian of my fleshes"--the reincarnating entity. It is, however, quite true that the passions are connected with the blood, and so with the "fleshly envelope,"
or physical heart, in which the real "heart" is said to be enshrined.